Apple’s cowardly Apple TV

“If there’s one Apple product that would truly benefit from some courage, it’s the new Apple TV,” Jared Newman writes for TechHive. “Apple’s $150 streaming box isn’t a bad product, but it faces the same fundamental challenge as other streaming boxes: With so many apps competing for users’ attention, managing and sorting through them all can be a chore.”

“Last week, Apple provided a glimpse at its solution, a new app called ‘TV’ that acts like a universal viewing guide. Instead of bouncing between a dozen apps to find something to watch, TV pulls lots of content into one place,” Newman writes. “Apple will also offer a ‘single sign-in’ feature for cable-authenticated apps, so you don’t need to keep re-entering the same login credentials. Both features are due out in December.”

MacDailyNews Take: Ever notice that Apple under Tim Cook has a lot of things “coming soon?” Hey, here’s an idea: How about getting your shit done, in stores and ready to ship, before the special event, Apple?

“There’s just one problem: Some of the biggest streaming services and TV operators aren’t on board with what Apple is doing. Netflix, for instance, won’t feed its content into the new TV app, and so far only Dish Network and DirecTV have confirmed support for single sign-in. It’s unclear whether major cable providers such as Comcast or Charter will participate,” Newman writes. “But rather than call these companies out for holding back the user experience, Apple is pretending as if nothing’s wrong. That seems uncharacteristic of a company that’s been congratulating itself on its own courage lately.”

“Comparing present-day Apple to the Steve Jobs era can be tiresome, but Apple itself hasn’t shied from doing so lately. When the company omitted a headphone jack from the iPhone 7, Apple’s Phil Schiller defended the move as courageous—seemingly a nod to an old Jobs quote about not supporting Flash on iOS devices,” Newman writes. “It takes courage to publicly tell powerful media companies that they’re wrong, but Jobs wasn’t afraid to do so…

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Which Apple VP is in charge of Apple TV among other chronically glitch-prone services that are uniformly saddled with Microsoftian UIs?

Therein Apple’s problem lies.

A jovial, fun-loving nature wrapped in unbuttoned shirts is no substitute for execution, quality, taste, and signed contracts, Tim.

Beloved by all, yet failing the company. It’s a conundrum that needs to be solved.

It’s quite possible that without Steve Jobs’ help, Eddy Cue couldn’t get ink in a stationery store. — MacDailyNews, November 5, 2015

Apple’s new ‘TV’ app won’t include Netflix or Amazon Video – October 28, 2016

Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s new ‘TV’ app won’t include Netflix or Amazon Video – October 28, 2016
Hulu inks deals with Fox and Disney, adding ESPN, Fox News and more to forthcoming live service – November 1, 2016
Google signs up CBS for planned web TV service to debut in early 2017; close to deal with 21st Century Fox – October 20, 2016
Apple’s Eddy Cue alienated cable providers and networks with an assertive negotiating style – report – July 28, 2016


  1. Hate to say it but much of this is true. Don’t announce products that aren’t ready unless they require developers to develop before they are ready. Rule #1 is don’t announce or ship products until they are ready. There are so many reasons why this must be be practiced that its not worth detailing. Cook is guilty of giving hints and otherwise broadcasting the future and they keep announcing things that aren’t ready. The element of surprise and avoidance of having egg on your face go hand-in-hand. Makes it really hard to buy from Apple when they do this.

  2. Do you think Cook has noticed the criticism yet? He does seem to live in his own little fume filled bubble only exiting to tell us, like a cross between a benevolent grandad and the oracle at Delphi passing down his wisdom to the unquestioning masses.

    Steve was right to choose a safe pair of hands to take over and get the company through the mystical spell he oozed had somewhat evaporated in his absence, the mistake was not Applying a sell by date that kicks in once they found someone with vision to eventually replace him. We hoped Jony would be that inspiration while Cook was simply the front man but sadly Jony seems to have left with SJ to all intents and purposes, certainly not replaced it.

  3. Doffing my hat to the MDN editorial staff for their apropos criticism of Apple in this instance. It brings greater credibility to your defense of all things Apple when you can acknowledge its goofs and flaws. Thumbs up.

    I don’t enjoy having to bounce around the various inputs on the TV to access AppleTV. I truly do not understand why Apple doesn’t secretly (or otherwise) just purchase TiVo and start building something better out of it all. I love having everything recorded and TiVo even has that lovely green button where you can skip ads if you’ve got ’em. I want ONE machine to do it all. ONE interface, ONE really fantastic, easy-to-use remote for ONE coherent experience of all there is to enjoy on TV.

    The AppleTV App ain’t what Jobs said it was “cracked” up to be…

  4. The content companies want money and control and more money, design the best hardware and move on Apple. Paying the blackhole of content isn’t profitable see Netflix, Amazon and Pandora.

  5. “Apple will also offer a ‘single sign-in’ feature for cable-authenticated apps, so you don’t need to keep re-entering the same login credentials.”

    So does this mean that for every App that is on the Apple TV that requires a login, you have to enter it more than just the first time you install and use it? Or does this mean AppleTV assumes you have the same login on every service App you have installed on AppleTV?

  6. But rather than call these companies out for holding back the user experience, Apple is pretending as if nothing’s wrong.

    My guess is that Apple does not want to insult the media oligarchs who insist upon the antiquated ‘bundling’ bullshit system. Grumpy old oligarchs can be very touchy. Insist that they join the 21st century and they might pull their bundle streaming app all together.

    Meanwhile, people living in the 21st century have found a multitude of ways to create their own à la carte streaming media methods, none of which are good for the profits of the media industry. In response, the oligarchs play Whack-A-Mole attempting to thwart various services and methods. But when one media mole get’s pounded, two more pop up. None of this surreptitious sneaking behind the media oligarch’s backs has to happen, if only they’d enable à la carte here and now and forever.

  7. 4K TV is getting a huge push this Christmas. Apple’s latest and greatest phones shoot 4K video. Even the red headed stepchild of Tim Cook’s Apple, Macintosh, has both 4K & 5K models.

    The Apple TV cannot handle 4K unless they are hiding it for a later SW update.

    This is as stupid as the fact that a Google Pixel cellphone can connect directly to a new Macbook Pro without an adapter, but the new iPhone 7 cannot. Who is minding the store in Cupertino?

    In films they worry about continuity so that scenes edited into sequences that were not shot in a linear fashion make sense. Who at Apple is viewing their devices to make sure they make sense to the customer?
    Steve Jobs worried over how the headphone jack felt when it snapped into the socket on the first iPods, but since his death Apple serms to be determined to give users the finger and short shrift.

  8. I’ve got a new Sony TV which has the world’s worst ‘Smart’ features, it’s hard to describe just how poorly implemented those features are, or how painfully slowly they work. However the display is excellent.

    On the face of it, adding an Apple TV unit would be the obvious solution to those problems, but here in the UK, Apple TV isn’t at all attractive. The major reason is that the second most important UK streaming service, Channel 4’s 4oD, is not supported on Apple TV. Then when it comes to content, the selection of programming that Apple offers non-US customers is pretty underwhelming.

    The Apple TV itself appears to be a nice but of hardware, but it isn’t actually much use here in the UK.

  9. Apple TV is under the shirt untucked bloated and arrogant Eddy Cue. He is too busy sellling all his stock to care. He is also in charge of the awful Apple Music. Apple really needs new management starting with him. Wall Street clearly is not impressed with hm and others.

  10. I prefer the old Apple TV. The new one broke during the first lightening storm of 2016, while the old one keeps on running. The new remote control is too sensitive and unusable. The new application functions are uninteresting and don’t do a single thing for me. It was cool during last Christmas to have a fake fireplace, but other than that, the box was a waste of money. I’ll keep my old Apple TVs thank you.

    1. The new one does everything the old one does, plus more. I could follow your logic if the new one removed functionality, but it didn’t.

      You can adjust your remote sensitivity, and or use a different remote, including the old one.

      Fireplace app?

      Clearly you are using it wrong. Your personal user issues should not be translated to device issues where none exist.

      1. Wow, where have you been? The AppleTV remote is probably the most flawed, dumb thing Apple has ever made. You’re seriously going to defend it? There are bandwidth robbing essays about how poorly designed and implemented the AppleTV remote is.

        This will not be one of them.

        Please do your own research before insulting others for a widely held and supported opinion.

          1. What you believe you’re communicating, and what you’re actually typing, are two different things.

            You leapt out at “Barrys” very common complaint at how bad the AppleTV experience is with this awful remote. This is a common experience for many, myself included. Have you ever used this in a dark room and tried to figure out the buttons or even direction? Apple technology lovers have grown used to a standard of excellence that seriously seems to be slipping in the years since Jobs became too ill to be the gatekeeper. The article you’re commenting on, as well as the general tone of MDM’s editorial slant on AppleTV, are also critical of the remote and the AppleTV’s lack of excellence.

            You then proceeded to “school” Barrys about how much more functionality the new remote has and then made a classic apologist’s argument that we should “hack” our devices if they don’t work well by using old accessories if the new ones were bad. Now you’re going to pull a Trump and say, “I never said that?”

            Just the fact that you seem unable make a point without continuing to insult the intelligence of those who don’t share it is proof enough of for me that you don’t have one.

            You’re too unaware to school others on usability, much less reading comprehension.

            Thanks for your concern. Now I can chill. 😉


            1. Mick, you assume way too much about my comment, and fail to understand what I was actually saying to “Barrys”.

              I was talking about the device as a whole having more functionality (not the remote) than the old one because “Barry” was complaining about the device breaking (from an act of God nonetheless) and saying that “the new application functions are uninteresting”, like the fireplace app comment he made.

              The majority of the complaints in his comment were directed at the device, and only a portion of his comment was aimed at the sensitivity of the remote. I addressed this by saying he could adjust that setting OR he could just use any other IR remote, which I do myself.

              Insult? Where?

              I am “too unaware”? Enlighten me. So me sharing that “Barrys” can adjust the sensitivity of the remote and or use a 3rd party remote is an “opinion”? That is fact. I was clearly trying to point out that he was blaming the issues he was having on the device (or lightening storm) vs realizing that he has a lack of understanding in regards to what he could do with the device to solve his issues.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.